Red Sox 11, Tigers 9

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DETROIT (AP)—Tim Wakefield won a game and ended up in the record book.

He enjoyed one feat much more than the other.

Wakefield gave up six homers, matching a modern major league record last set 64 years ago, but he wound up with the victory when his Boston Red Sox outslugged the Detroit Tigers 11-9 Sunday.

“I’m glad we won, but that’s just because the offense scored more runs than I gave up,” Wakefield said. “I’d rather just forget about the whole thing.”

David Ortiz’s three-run shot capped a six-run fourth inning, and Kevin Youkilis homered twice to help the Red Sox overcome seven Detroit home runs.

“I don’t remember ever hitting two homers in pro ball,” Youkilis said. “I’ll remember this one, though.”

Ivan Rodriguez and Eric Munson each connected twice for the Tigers on an unusual day at spacious Comerica Park. The teams combined for 10 homers, the most in the stadium’s five-year history. Detroit’s seven homers were the most ever hit by one club at Comerica.

“I’m not sure what was happening out there,” Munson said. “Some of the balls that went out weren’t crushed by any means, but the ball was just really carrying.”

Three homers went over the shortened left-field fence and would not have been home runs before the Comerica Park fences were brought in last year.

Wakefield (8-6) allowed two homers to Rodriguez and one each to Munson, Craig Monroe, Carlos Pena and Dmitri Young. Yet the knuckleballer left after five innings with a 10-7 lead.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but give him credit—he stayed out there for five innings,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “I’ve never seen the ball carry like it did today—it was just flying all over the place.”

Wakefield is the sixth pitcher since 1900 to yield six homers in a game, but the first since George Caster of the Philadelphia Athletics against the Red Sox on Sept. 24, 1940.

The previous Red Sox record was five, by Wakefield in 1996 and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley in 1979.

“I didn’t have any feeling for the knuckler today at all,” Wakefield said. “I was just trying to get an out anywhere I could find one.”

In 1886, Charlie Sweeney of the St. Louis Maroons in the National League gave up seven homers in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Brooklyn’s Hollis Thurston was the last pitcher to give up six homers and win the game, beating the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds on Aug. 13, 1932.

Three Red Sox relievers finished, securing Wakefield’s third straight win. Keith Foulke pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances.

Wakefield allowed eight hits but did not walk a batter.

Youkilis had four RBIs for Boston, which took two of three in the series. Ortiz, who missed the first game while finishing a five-game suspension, drove in five runs in the two wins.

“To come out of here with two wins—that gives us some momentum,” Francona said.

Nate Robertson (9-7) failed to take advantage of Detroit’s big day on offense, giving up eight runs—seven earned—in three-plus innings.

Detroit scored six runs on five homers off Wakefield in the first three innings, but Robertson immediately gave the lead back three straight times.

“There’s not a lot I can say,” Robertson said. “Our guys went out there and scored nine runs, and I gave it away. I missed some pitches, and they hit them, but I threw some good pitches and they hit those, too.”

The Tigers went ahead on Rodriguez’s homer in the first, but Bill Mueller and Gabe Kapler made it 2-1 with run-scoring hits in the second.

Detroit got consecutive solo homers from Monroe and Munson in the bottom half to make it 3-2, but Boston tied the game on Youkilis’ homer.

Rodriguez hit his second homer in the third, a two-run shot, and Pena added a solo drive later in the inning, putting the Tigers ahead 6-3.

Robertson, though, couldn’t even get an out in the fourth.

Mueller reached on a two-base error by center fielder Alex Sanchez, Kapler singled, and both runners scored on Johnny Damon’s triple. Youkilis tied the game with an RBI single before Robertson walked Kevin Millar.

That brought Roberto Novoa out of the bullpen to face Ortiz, who lined a pitch just inside the right-field foul pole for a three-run homer and a 9-6 lead.

“Obviously, you wonder how that inning would have gone if Alex catches the ball—that’s certainly not the way you want to start an inning,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “But the fact is that we just didn’t shut them down after that.”

Youkilis made it 10-6 with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly, but Young hit the final homer against Wakefield, Detroit’s fifth solo shot, in the bottom of the fifth.

Youkilis homered in the eighth off Al Levine to make it 11-7. Munson hit a two-run shot off Mike Timlin in the bottom half.

Notes

Manny Ramirez was scratched from the Boston lineup with flulike symptoms for the second day in a row. … Kapler had three hits, including two doubles, against his former team. … The Tigers dropped to 28-30 at home.

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